July 21, 2009 / 12:31 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Spectrum gets fast-track status for bladder cancer drug

* Sees enrollment completed by year end 2009

* Spectrum shares up as much as 11 percent

(Recasts lead; adds analyst comment; updates share movement)

July 21 (Reuters) - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc (SPPI.O) said U.S. health regulators granted fast-track designation to apaziquone, its experimental treatment for a kind of bladder cancer.

Shares of Spectrum rose as much as 11 percent, making them one of the top percentage gainers on Nasdaq.

“The approval for this drug is at least a couple of years away,” Morgan Joseph analyst Shiv Kapoor said, calling the drug a potential “groundbreaking therapy.”

Fast-track designation is designed to expedite the review of drugs to treat serious diseases and fill unmet medical needs. In October, Spectrum had signed an exclusive deal with Allergan Inc (AGN.N) to develop and sell apaziquone, also called EOquin, for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, which is localized in the surface layers of the bladder and has not spread to the deeper muscle layer.

Under terms of the deal, Allergan agreed to pay Spectrum $41.5 million at closing and make additional payments of up to $304 million based on reaching certain milestones.

Shares of the company were up 9.2 percent at $6.41 in afternoon trade. They touched a high of $6.50 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Aradhana Aravindan)

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